As ‘conducting business’ transforms into a sophisticated activity for enterprises, where automation, business intelligence, and smart technologies mingle and merge at every step, getting the fundamental aspects of business right has become vital. And one of the constant struggles for enterprises across industries such as manufacturing, retail, and eCommerce when it comes to smoothly running operations, carrying out processes, and enhancing collaboration, is to keep their product information in shipshape. Because poor quality or inconsistent product information simply won’t cut when it comes to delighting customers with connected devices, and artificial intelligence.
And that’s where the benefits of product information management come into the picture. From management of product attributes, defining of hierarchies, version and price management, localization across geographies, product promotion, brand management, web-to-print, product syndication, defining ownership of product data, as well as integration with various systems—there are a plethora of PIM benefits, that makes the work of enterprises super easy.
Here’s a deep dive into the benefits of a PIM solution:
1. Complete Product Data Management: Managing, Modeling, and Quality
PIM systems are much more than pure data management software. When it comes to managing data, they ensure product data is accurate and consistent, enable easy editing, management of user rights, data validation, custom views, and controlling publishing and versioning. On the other hand, data modelling is everything to do with the relationships and associations between data sets, creating data categorization and hierarchy for organizing and classifying data by building intelligent connections among various product lines and families. Also, by carving out a classification standard, a PIM offers enterprises the power to construct flexible and scalable data models. Finally, and quite literally, data quality accounts for everything to do with completeness, quality, and enrichment, along with capabilities such as auditing. With complete product information management, businesses efficiently manage their product lifecycle and track modifications at any time.
2. Integration with Other Systems
One of the chief product information management benefits is that no existing enterprise system has to mould itself to fit with it. As a matter of fact, it is PIM that fits like a glove with almost every enterprise software, including the legacy and the homegrown ones. A long list of systems can be integrated with PIM, such as ERPs, CRMs, existing product catalogs, relational databases, tracking or logistics systems, electronic data interfaces, partner data systems, mainframe legacy systems, business intelligence (BI) software, application server technologies, as well as transactional data apps. Additionally, most PIM solutions today are 100% API-driven, a capability that lets them integrate with any new or existing technology, enabling real-time, two-way interaction at any moment in time. Effective integration eases not only data import but also data search and retrieval.
3. Digital Asset Management
Every major PIM system today includes a digital asset management platform. A robust DAM functionality can help organizations manage a vast assortment of digital assets such as videos, animation, images, graphics, music files, podcasts and other rich media content in various types and formats. DAM systems onboard, enrich, and syndicate data effortlessly. They aid enterprises in disseminating the right media assets to the right target audience via the right channel, achieving high brand consistency for them. DAM also supercharges the customer experience by constantly delighting customers with eye-catching visuals and imagery, strengthening their brand voice and value and fuelling streamlined brand experiences. Therefore enterprises need not invest in a separate DAM system; they can simply choose a PIM and can rest assured that they’ll get all the capabilities of a DAM system.
4. Product Data Syndication
Today’s PIM systems enable enterprises to connect with a wide variety of external channels by publishing and delivering product information on the most important global shopping networks such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Rakuten, Instagram, and a lot more. These channels are the ones where audiences’ of enterprises gather for social listening, interactions, and shopping needs. A PIM system collects and standardizes product data no matter its format and syndicates it effortlessly on every leading channel. It also provides a variety of options to customize according to the requirements of these customer-facing channels. Optimizations such as autogenerating creatives can also be carried out and included dynamically in titles, promos, logos, etc. The product data syndication capability also helps in the distribution of product catalogs to any channel in any format, regardless of the market.
5. Supporting Vendors and Suppliers
One of the most significant business benefits of product information management is its capability to not just support the enterprise but the entire organizational ecosystem comprising of vendors and suppliers. By enabling suppliers and vendors to ingest product information easily via portals, PIM system makes data management quick and efficient for them. These portals help streamline, accelerate, and automate supplier data, building mutually rewarding relationships. From a broader perspective, apart from smoother communication among enterprises and its various business partners, PIM helps consolidate supply chains, enhance demand forecasting, improve operational efficiency, minimize overheads, and accomplish common goals while simultaneously realizing their own strategic objectives. The most significant contribution of PIM-led vendor management is the empowerment vendors experience with self-service and flexibility of anywhere, anytime communication.
6. Customer Experience and ROI
One of the primary jobs of a PIM system is to consolidate product information in a single (product master data) repository and manage, enrich, and streamline it. That’s where the foundation of excellent customer experience and higher ROI is laid. With this, the entire product experience becomes customer-centric. Messy and unstructured data (in any format) goes into the PIM system and turns into streamlined, consistent, accurate data which is ready to be shared across output channels. This provides ample opportunity to the marketing and sales departments to use that data, create delightful customer experiences, launch new products quickly, create attractive campaigns (flash sales, bundled product offers, clearance sales, etc.) and make amendments to existing promotions on the fly. Providing fulfilling customer experiences creates a domino effect that results in higher ROI.
7. Faster Time-to-market
With PIM data delivery not only becomes accurate but quick. It empowers departments to create data hierarchies and structures and validate and track different versions in remarkably shorter times. It also enables swifter enrichment of descriptions, clearing the way for quicker collaboration among many different enterprise functions, resulting in enhanced workflow and better operational efficiency, which smooths out the job of sales and marketing professionals. Therefore, with PIM implementation, products hit the markets quickly, and new product launches become much faster, offering businesses a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Besides, with multichannel product delivery and distribution, products reach the target audience in no time on their preferred channels, thereby further increasing the chances of customer engagement and sales.
There are even more benefits of an enterprise-grade integrated product information management system. It not only centralizes, enriches, and syndicates product data to digital marketing channels but also makes managing millions of data sets a breeze with its sophisticated rules and access controls. In almost every PIM, basic product data can be ingested through direct spreadsheet uploads from enterprise file systems or other systems using APIs. In addition, most modern-day PIMs are powered by a context-sensitive user interface, operated with an intuitive drag and drop functionality built directly into users’ web browsers. Besides, the intuitive PIM dashboards built directly into the interface help administrators to track data quality and other critical metrics. Moreover, custom approval workflows can also be included to automatically publish classified, complete and up-to-date product data from a single source to the enterprise marketing ecosystem, resulting in faster time-to-market. PIM is today seen as a cutting-edge software—a non-negotiable requirement in a dynamic marketing environment.